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Blind Professional Journalists

It's been long in the making, but we are up and running. The world's first discussion list for blind journalists is now open to new participants.

This list is an informal gathering place for people who want to ask questions and exchange ideas on how blind people succeed in journalism. We welcome working journalists or those who expect to write for a living, on deadline. We expect our group will include writers employed at newspapers, magazines, TV, or public affairs departments.

We also welcome students wanting to pursue journalism careers or former journalists who, after becoming blind, wish to acquire effective alternative techniques for working in our highly-competitive arena. There will probably be little of interest on this list for poets or novelists.

The Blind Professional Journalists Group was formed in July, 1996, during the National Federation of the Blind's annual convention in Anaheim, California. Among its founding members are students, reporters, editors, and the former dean of the journalism department at Arizona State University.

We expect to spend the next several months finding blind journalists in the U.S. and beyond, and getting them subscribed to our new Listserv, NFB-BPJ. Among the topics we expect to discuss in the Listserve are:

Technology that lets you manipulate information quickly and on deadline.

Reportorial techniques specific to blindness, ranging from managing the interview to managing visual aspects of the story.

Nuts and bolts solutions concerning transportation and techniques for working with reader/driver/assistants.

Employment issues specific to blind professionals, from how to get hired to how to fund adaptive equipment.

Ways of cracking information barriers in order to keep you informed so you can do your job exceptionally well.

The NFB-BPJ list may grow to include discussions far more diverse than these, but we request that subject matter be confined to those things directly relating to the techniques and issues affecting blind journalists. So how to join the list? Simply send an e-mail message to:

Leave the subject field blank, and in the body of the message type:

subscribe nfb-bpj your name

No need to enclose your name in brackets, though. If all goes well, in a matter of hours you will receive a welcome message and you are subscribed.

For questions or comments about the list, please feel free to contact the co-moderators, Elizabeth Campbell and Bryan Bashin, whose addresses are listed below.

Elizabeth Campbell, Fort Worth, Texas

Bryan Bashin, Sacramento, California